In recent months rumours linking Wayne Rooney with a move to Paris Saint-Germain have persisted, despite Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s adamancy that Rooney will be staying put.
Of course the backdrop to these claims is that Rooney’s current contract expires in the summer of 2015 – that seems like a long way off now but next summer it’ll be entering it’s final year and that is a dangerous situation for the club to be in.
Rooney is valued just under £60 million and, despite an inconsistent season, he is still one of United’s most important players – some would argue their most important, even above Robin van Persie.
Whilst I’m lead to believe that the PSG rumours emanated from Paris and persisted only due to Rooney’s form and fitness this term which has seen Ferguson substitute him on and off the pitch more frequently than in previous terms, I could be convinced that perhaps Rooney’s representatives have perhaps had a hand in rocking the boat.
Who could forget the storm that occurred last time the now 27-year-old was negotiating terms of a new deal – he held Manchester United and Ferguson over a barrel, gave the fans a scare, and jeopardized his own reputation with his tactics.
He threatened to leave the club, declaring he wouldn’t sign a new contract before doing just that – signing a deal worth a reported £65 million over it’s five-year term. Back then he claimed his decision to reject a new contract was purely down to ‘ambition’ rather than money but, alas, money seemed to solve the problem in the end.
Ferguson will have learned from that ugly saga and will not want to repeat it any time soon – especially not with such a prized asset of the club’s. Rooney’s current deal earns him around £25,000 per week, demolishing United’s wage structure at the time.
Now, with Van Persie earning the same wage what will Rooney want from a potential new deal - £300K a week? PSG could pay that but I don’t know that United could or would and Rooney must be careful treading on such thin ice this time around.
Ferguson is not to be messed with and could very well opt to offload Rooney before it even comes to haggling over his wages. The rumours of a move to PSG could very well have their origin much closer to home – it’s not unheard of for players’ agents to stir up transfer rumours and ‘interest’ from other clubs as the player is negotiating a new contract.
This time, however, Rooney and his people may want to tread carefully – any funny business this time around could prove to be a deal-breaker for the club and the manager who were thoroughly embarrassed last time around.